By Donu Kogbara
I FEARED that Barack Obama would lose the American presidential election but he sailed through; and I am grateful and relieved to the point of tearfulness.
My son is at school in the US and when one of his White American friends’ mothers asked me, a few weeks ago, what I thought of Obama’s policies, I shocked the poor woman by saying that I feel so emotionally attached to what he represents that I try to find a way to agree with everything he does or says!
I grant you that mine is not a mature or intellectually credible or morally justifiable approach. But I reckon that Obama deserves a bit of blind loyalty!
I am so very, very proud of the first Black President of the most powerful nation on earth. He and his wife Michelle are a great team and Class Act – as in clever, compassionate, principled and inspirational.
I thank God for sending them to uplift the ailing global image of a Black race that is usually linked to failure.
Near death experience
I AM just emerging from a major nightmare. It began last
week when I was in Port Harcourt. Firstly, I suddenly, out of the blue, found it extremely hard to breathe and started to gasp for air. Then I had a massive nosebleed.
Various Nigerian doctors from various private and government hospitals ran various tests, offered various diagnoses and provided various treatments. But none of them knew what exactly was wrong with me; and I went from bad to worse to crisis.
I could barely stand up. I couldn’t perform simple tasks. I nearly lost the will to live. At one point, I had to be carried to a hospital in the middle of the night, so I could be hooked up to an oxygen tank before I completely collapsed.
Eventually, I fled to London, where I received excellent treatment; and I’m still fragile, but on the road to recovery. And, while thanking God for allowing me the rare privilege of access to Western healthcare, let me also beg Him to help the average Nigerian medic become as effective as the average foreign medic.
Given that Nigerian doctors do NOT lack brains – and that quite a few of them were even trained internationally – they really need to solve their image problem and inspire more confidence.
The minute I started to feel poorly, most of my friends and relatives started to urge me to go abroad, rather than “waste time” or “take risks with your life” by putting myself in the hands of Nigerian doctors.
It is outrageous for a country of Nigeria’s stature to be regarded as a dangerous place to fall ill in. Something needs to be done; and fast.
Food for thought
FROM Peter Udosen (firstname.lastname@example.org), a regular reader. He is reacting to my oft-expressed frustration about the state of the country.
I think I can interest you in what Lerone Bennett Jr said in his “The road not taken”, which was published in Ebony Magazine in August 1970. Kole Omotoso adapted it as a substitute for a preface in his book, Just Before Dawn (Spectrum Books Ltd, Ibadan) from where I lifted it.
Here it goes: “…A nation is an amalgam of critical decisions made at crucial forks in the road. A nation is a choice.
It chooses itself at fateful forks in the road by turning left or right, by giving up something or taking something, and in the giving up and the taking in, the deciding and not deciding…
And even afterwards, the people and the nation are defined by fork and the decision that was made there as well as the decision that was not made engraves itself into things, into institutions, nerves, muscles, tendons, and the first decision requires a second decision and the second decision requires a third and it goes on and on until one day the people wake up and discover that they are mad and corrupt and divided and that they built war and hate and blood into the very air they breathe.”
My take is in agreement with the above – that a nation is the choice of its people. I am not shedding tears, Don’t Donu. I am not.
Law is said to provide facilities in pure reasoning as well as provide ability to detect fallacies in reasoning.
We are not building the Nigerian state on the three pillars known to good governance, which are accountability, probity and transparency, APT.
When every politician insists on installing his surrogate in office, he is building on self- interest.
I guess this is where the burden cracks you for always having to repeat yourself on elementary facts. And according to John Adams: ”Facts are stubborn things and nobody can erase them”.
Weep not for Nigeria for we do not know how many forks are ahead on this journey, and what to drop or pick. Warm Regards.